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Another Sanchez profile

The Express News talks to possible Senate candidate Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. I won’t rehash all of the stuff we’re familiar with, so let me just focus on this:

A decision is likely in the next few weeks. If he runs, Sanchez, 59, of San Antonio will lay out a narrative he knows some Texans are unlikely to embrace.

It will tell of how welfare softened the blows of poverty and gave him the chance to become an outstanding student and combat soldier. He was voted most likely to succeed in his Rio Grande City High School class of 1969.

That narrative, moreover, almost certainly will serve as the cornerstone of a campaign that would be his first for public office.

“The people need to hear the truth. … . They may not be receptive, they may not like it,” Sanchez said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t tell the American people, and the people of Texas, what the truth is. …

“You can’t shy away from the difficult issues. You have to lay out the difficulties and the variables that must be changed to control the situation and to restore America’s and Texas’ greatness.”

I appreciate the discussion about values and winnability that Sanchez’s candidacy has sparked, but it strikes me that maybe we’re overlooking something. What if Sanchez is willing and able to forcefully advocate the kind of values we all want to see in Democratic candidates? The man himself isn’t saying much yet, but listen to what he is saying and think about what it might mean:

Sanchez wouldn’t give positions on specific issues, but cited the economy, deficit, education, energy and family values as his chief concerns. Still, expect the issues he champions to be guided by his Catholic faith. His positions also will be rooted in a childhood so poor he used cardboard to cover the holes in the soles of his shoes.

“I came from a broken home. I attended public schools my entire time. My family was on welfare most of my days growing up here in Texas,” Sanchez said. “So I understand the processes, the challenges, the factors that play on our poor. I understand the despair and also the desire to succeed and to try to get out of poverty.

I don’t want to project, but in the abstract at least, a lot of that sounds like the sort of things I’d want a Democratic candidate to be talking about. There’s certainly the potential for it to go off the rails – “family values” is a highly loaded phrase – but the potential is also there for it to be something to get fired up about. Which is why, as I’ve said all along, I want to hear what he has to say for himself. Who knows, maybe we’ll like what we hear.

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One Comment

  1. Buhallin says:

    I can really appreciate that Sanchez might have the right things to say on poverty issues, but it doesn’t matter. Anything and everything he says or believes is called into question because of his military time. He’s the very definition of a tainted candidate.

    But do we really have nobody, in all of Texas, who can and will say the same things? If the only person we can find to stand up for decent Democratic values is a war criminal, we might as well give up now. We’re treading dangerously close to abandoning all our values in pursuit of a win – in order to save our values, of course.

    I continue to be absolutely stunned that this man is considered for ANYTHING. We’re rehashing the debate over whether or not we should be torturing people, and thankfully most liberals are on the right side of that debate. Except here… It’s good to know that all it takes is a shiny Senate candidate to make us dump all that.